1930 HENDERSON CUSTOM


The machine is apparently based on a 1930 Henderson—presumably the 100 mph (160 km/h) Streamline model—and was built in 1936 by a gent called O. Ray Courtney. Today the bike is owned by Frank Westfall of Syracuse, a motorcycle collector and local identity, who was seen happily riding this extraordinary motorcycle around the showgrounds.


According Mortillaro, “The craftsmanship is absolutely stunning and it’s surely more of a museum piece than a daily rider. Frank has obviously spent an incredible amount of time meticulously restoring and rebuilding the bike to its current state.”


As a marque, Henderson is unfortunately buried in the sands of time, despite a short-lived attempt to revive the name in the late 90s. But until its demise in 1931, the Excelsior Motor Mfg. & Supply Co.—the owner of the Henderson brand—was one of the ‘Big Three’ American motorcycle manufacturers, along with Harley-Davidson and Indian.


[ Texts from BikeEXIF. First four images by kind permission of Grail Mortillaro, © Knucklebuster. Final image located by Pete Plassmann. Thanks also to Bill Tikos, Benjie Flipperboi, Scott Ruffalo and Twitter denizens Fuzzygalore and qcmw. ]

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Shinya Kimura @ Chabott Engineering

shinya kimura @ chabott engineering from Henrik Hansen on Vimeo.

A short film about custom motorcycle engineer shinya kimura @ chabott engineering, directed by Henrik Hansen www.henrikhansen.net, shot on the Canon 5D and 7D.

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'GREAT ESCAPE' BY BLITZ MOTORCYCLES

 
1963 BMW R60/2 customized by Blitz Motorcycles of France. Hugo, Léo and Fred have restored this 594 cc (36 ci), shaft-driven Boxer twin, powdercoated the frame, fork and handlebar in matt black, and then used high-temperature black for the engine. The bike was completely rewired, stripped of its fenders and fitted with 18” Mitas Enduro tires. Beautiful machine...

See the original post here, on BikeEXIF
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BUNKER FASCINATION


Converted air-raid bunker of art collector Christian Boros, Berlin.

For some inexplicable reason, I’ve always been intrigued by the solidity and physical presence of concrete fortifications, bunkers, castles, coastal defence systems and other types of functional structures… They’re not always beautiful to look at, and indeed, some have been used for some of the ugliest acts of hostilty and brutality known to mankind, but I still find the history behind them fascinating… I don’t know why…

A bit of background information…

Coming from Ireland, we’re spoiled when it comes to stone castles and fortifications. Ireland’s covered with them, from the megalithic tombs at Newgrange, in Co. Meath, which are some of the oldest man-made structures in the world, (5,200 years+ ) to the clifftop fortress ‘Dún Aonghasa‘ on the Aran Islands, on the Atlantic coast of Ireland.


Dún Aonghasa' on the Aran Islands, on the Atlantic coast of Ireland.


View from the sea of 'Dún Aonghasa', Galway, Ireland.

And I know I’m not alone with this stone/bunker fetish, I’ve met a lot of people that within the first couple of hours of conversation, have referred to some type of stone structure or concrete fortification… and this, I find a little unnerving..


For example, here’s a series of artwork by my immensely articulate, multi-artist and creative partner, Birgitte Katborg Laursen, based on the Danish section of the Atlantic wall coastal defence line, which runs from the top of Norway, down to Spain. Built between 1942-1944 by the German Wehrmacht as a bulwark against the expected invasion of the Allied Forces, the heaviest concentration of bunkers and watchtowers along the ‘Fortress Europa’ Atlantic Wall is at Thyborøn, on the west coast of Jutland, Denmark, and makes for some intense imagery…


Bunkers on the west coast of Denmark, Birgitte Katborg Laursen (1991).


Bunkers on the west coast of Denmark, Birgittte Katborg Laursen (1991). (WOW !!)

Magdalena Jetelová’s ‘Atlantic Wall’

Many other artists have found this seemingly endless coastal fortification intriguing, and have produced works directly inspired by it, one of which is Magdalena Jetelová, through her work entitled ‘Atlantic Wall’ from 1995, to commemorate the 50th anniversary of the invasion of the Allied Forces.


From Magdalena Jetelová's 'Atlantic Wall' (1995).

Magdalena Jetelová takes up a transcontinental phenomenon of historical topography and makes it her image between two superposing systems of positioning, resulting in an entire scenography of bunkers along the beaches.

Elle-Mie Ejdrup Hansen’s ‘Light line on the bunkers’

On the 4th of May 1995, from 22:00 to 24:00, a laser sculpture entitled “The Line – The Light” shone along the west coast of Denmark, celebrating 50 years of peace.


Elle-Mie Ejdrup Hansen’s 'Light line on the bunkers', 1995.


As mentioned above, the remnants of around 6,000 bunkers lie dotted along the Danish west coast, constantly being knocked around by the waves; as irrational sculptural shapes, defenseless and marked by nature’s forces. These bunkers are an echo from WWII and highlight the importance of peace.



Elle-Mie Ejdrup Hansen’s 'Light line on the bunkers', 1995.

Paul Virilio’s Bunker Archeologie

Organized by the Center for Industrial Creation and presented at the Museum of Decorative Arts in Paris from December 1975 through February 1976, the images were shot by Paul Virilio between1958 and 1965.


Observation post on a Channel Island, Paul Virilio.
“When calling to mind the reasons that made the bunkers so appealing to me almost
twenty years ago, I see it clearly now as a case of intuition and also as a convergence
between the reality of the structure  and the fact of its implantation alongside
the ocean: a convergence between my awareness of spatial phenomena
– the strong pull of the shores – and their being the focus of the works
of the “Atlantic Wall” facing the open sea, facing out into the void.”
- Paul Virilio, Bunker Archeology, Princeton Architectural Press, 1994.

ERASMUS SCHROETER – Hiding In Plain Sight

Erasmus Schroeter’s background in the tightly controlled society of the former German Democratic Republic provides the context for two different collections of work in one exhibition, ‘Bunker’ and ‘Bild der Heimat’. The core theme within these two bodies of work is the juxtaposition between the individual and the collective worldviews developed in the socialist GDR during the forty years of its existence between 1949 and 1989.


Images from Erasmus Schroeter's collections Bunker' and 'Bild der Heimat'.

As an “alternative” artist in the GDR, Schroeter experienced everything that the Stasi, the notorious secret police, could throw at him. This gave him both an enduring mistrust of monolithic political ideologies and the freedom to take on taboo subjects such as Nazism and German militarism. The east German society in which Erasmus Schroeter’s career developed possessed a questioning creative spirit, borne of a personally experienced repression unlike anything in the west.


From Erasmus Schroeter's collections Bunker' and 'Bild der Heimat'.

Obsolete almost as soon as they were contructed, the huge bunkers of the Atlantikwall were built to protect the coasts of the Nazi dominated Festung (fortress) Europa. As they have crumbled and decayed they have become monuments, not to ‘heroic’ struggle but to the folly of military conceit. Bathed in theatrical light, the luminous colours, imposing scale and crumbling ruins of Schroeter’s Bunkers create a panorama which is both utterly arresting and wholly repulsive. Violence and beauty shift in and out of focus as the German Romantic landscape of longing, immortalised by Caspar David Friedrich, is co-opted by Schroeter for purposes which are anything but.


Schroeter's bunker, and "World Clock" by Hans Joachim Kunsch, Alexanderplatz, East Berlin, 1973.

The supposedly collective, progressive and heroic image that East German socialism wanted to present to the world and to its people are featured in images of everything from shopping centres to industrial complexes and GDR holiday resorts. The architectural rationale which underpin both collections ‘Bunker’ and ‘Bild der Heimat’ are pervasive ideologies. Yet, although the architectural vestiges of Nazism and Stalinism maintain a clear presence in the cities, countryside and coastlines of contemporary Germany and beyond, they are often invisible to the untrained eye. Schroeter work makes it impossible for these ideologies to conceal themselves and therefore to remain Hiding in Plain Sight.

BUNKER PENTHOUSE IN BERLIN


Air raid bunker constructed in 1942 to protect travellers at Friedrichstrasse Railway station.

Here’s a really great example of extracting something beautiful from something with such a dark past… a renovated WWII air-raid Bunker in Berlin, converted by the architecture firm ‘Realarchitektur‘, to house the collection of contemporary art, as well as the art collector himself, Christian Boros.


Renoveted exhibition space and art gallery www.sammlung-boros.de

The World War Two building houses approximately 3000m² of exhibition space. Temporary exhibitions in close cooperation with the artists are planned. A 500m² extension at roof level provides living space for the art collector and his family.


Penthouse apartment overlooking Berlin.

The air raid bunker was constructed in reinforced concrete in 1942 during the second world war, for the German railway company. It was used to protect travellers arriving at the Friedrichstrasse Railway station from air raid attacks.


Penthouse interior.

After the war minor additions and changes were made to the bunker for it to be used as a vegetable storage space. After the Berlin Wall fell it was used as a club and later on for temporary exhibitions.


Into the belly of the beast - Exhibition spaces deep within the bunker.

In 2003, Christain Boros bought the bunker and commissioned Realarchitektur to design a place for him and his family to live in and house his collection of contemporary art.

THE MAGINOT LINE, FRANCE

The Maginot Line, named after French Minister of Defense André Maginot, was a line of concrete fortifications, tank obstacles, artillery casemates, machine gun posts, and other defenses, which France constructed along its borders with Germany and Italy, in the light of experience from World War I, and in the run-up to World War II. The entire line of defenses consisted of 142 ouvrages, 352 casemates, 78 shelters, 17 observatories and around 5,000 blockhouses.


Ouvrage du Michelsberg, A22 Work Entree, The Maginot Line, France. 

The French established the fortification to provide time for their army to mobilize in the event of attack, and/or to entice Germany to attack neutral Belgium  to avoid a direct assault on the line. The fortification system successfully dissuaded a direct attack. However, it was strategically ineffective, as the Germans invaded through Belgium, flanking the Maginot Line, and proceeding relatively unobstructed.

1959 Cold War nuclear bunker for sale on Ebay

If all this bunker insanity has inspired you to investigate the dark reaches of your inner cave dweller, you could always just buy one of these Cold War-era nuclear bunkers, currently for sale on E-bay, and renovate it into your own personal maximum security living space, so you can ward off any invading forces with minimal effort…

1959 Cold War nuclear bunker for sale on Ebay. (WTF?)
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OPEL MOTOCLUB 500cc


This machine was one of the highlights of the 1928 Berlin Automobil und Motorrad show: designed by Ernst Neumann-Neander, one of the pioneers of pressed-steel construction, it looked like no other motorcycle on the market. The metalwork was cadmium plated, and most of the leather and rubber was red—right down to the tires.

Even more strangely, Fritz von Opel built a rocket-powered version too. According to The Vintagent, “The rider activated the rockets with a foot pedal, after using the motorcycle’s engine to reach 75mph; Opel calculated that 220km/h (132mph) was then possible”. Opel’s plan to break the world land speed record was unfortunately thwarted by the German authorities, but the more sedate, regular Motoclub lives on.

If you’re tempted, there’s a lovely 1928 model for sale at the Dutch dealer Yesterdays for €24,500—around US$33,000.
Image from Motor-Talk.de.
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Vespa 150 TAP from Bike EXIF

Vespa Militaire TAP scooter
By guest writer Scott of Pipeburn.

Many times I’ve wished I had a Bazooka attached to my bike, usually after almost being killed by someone who didn’t check their side mirrors. Luckily for them, all I had to unload was my middle finger. So when I first saw this Vespa, I knew most motorcyclists would love the concept—even if it was made for a different purpose.

It is named the Vespa 150 TAP (Troupes Aéro Portées) and it’s an Italian Vespa scooter modified by creating a hole in the legshield to carry a M20 75 mm recoilless rifle. The recoil or ‘kick’ from the rifle was counter balanced by venting propellant gases out the rear of the weapon; this eliminated the need for heavy mounts, and enabled the weapon to be fired from the Vespa frame.

Due to the lack of any kind of aiming devices, the recoilless rifle was supposed to be mounted on a tripod, which was also carried by the scooter. Primarily built for the Algerian War in the 1950s, five parachutes could carry a two-man gun crew, weapon, ammunition, and two scooters. Then the men would load the weapon on one scooter and the ammo on the other, before riding away to find their enemy. Although rumour has it that the drivers were seen more often pushing it rather than riding on it …

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1934 BMW R7 from Bike EXIF



After over seventy years languishing in a box the BMW R7 has been restored to its former glory by BMW Classic. Although the motorcycle, manufactured in 1934, was only ever a prototype and never went into production it is one of the most important, innovative and visually stunning motorcycles ever produced.

In 1935 the telescopic front fork was introduced. Initially it was tried on the R7, which never went into production. It was many years before customers were ready to accept this sort of 'styling'.

The 1930's was a time of engagement with the fabulous and expressive world of Art Deco. The integrated design of the R 7, with its extravagantly valanced mudguards, clean flowing lines and extensive use of chrome and steel, perfectly encapsulated this era. It was a motorcycle like no other that had preceded it or, in many ways, has been produced since. Motorcycles had developed from the humble bicycle and that is what, at that time, they still very much resembled.

The visual presence of the bike and the sleek and beautiful casting of the motor were enhanced by the lack of the usual frame tubing. The motor hung in position from the pressed steel bridge frame - something that was completely different to other motorcycles but again similar in concept to modern machines.


SOURCES : Bike EXIF | BM Bikes

There’s more information about the project on Phil Hawksley’s BM Bikes.

Special thanks to Chris Hunter, owner of Bike EXIF
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STEVE MCQUEEN - PETROLHEAD & MOTORKING

Steve McQueen taking a break by the track in 'LE MANS'.
Steve McQueen taking a break by the track in 'LE MANS'.

Say the name Steve McQueen to any modern, red-blooded man that's worth his salt, and you’ll probably hear the reply, “Ahh, The King of Cool”, which, of course is true…

But what was it exactly about this stylish petrolhead, reckless freebird, wild velocity freak and motoroil covered madman?  Was it his infectuous smile, permeating the very essence of 60’s film and moto culture? Was it his larger than life and yet totally down to earth persona? His phenomenal presence and onscreen ability?

Or was it the fact that he was just a regular guy with an insatiable thirst for anything with a powerful motor, who found a way to make epoch-defining movies while indulging his one true love – driving powerful machines as fast as he could make them go?

Steve McQueen (March 24, 1930 – November 7, 1980) was THE American movie actor, aptly nicknamed “The King of Cool.” His “anti-hero” persona, which he developed at the height of the Vietnam counterculture, made him one of the top box-office draws of the 1960s and 1970s. McQueen received an Academy Award nomination for his role in The Sand Pebbles.

His other popular films include The Magnificent Seven, The Great Escape, The Thomas Crown Affair, Bullitt, The Getaway, Papillon, and The Towering Inferno. In 1974 he became the highest paid movie star in the world. Although McQueen was combative with directors and producers, his popularity put him in high demand and enabled him to command large salaries.

The rough with the smooth - Fame and Imfany.
The rough with the smooth - Fame and Imfany.

He was an avid racer of both motorcycles and cars. While he studied acting, he supported himself partly by competing in weekend motorcycle races and bought his first motorcycle with his winnings. He is recognized for performing many of his own stunts, especially the majority of the stunt driving during the high-speed chase scene in Bullitt. McQueen also designed and patented a bucket seat and transbrake for race cars.

Perhaps the most memorable were the car chase in Bullitt and motorcycle chase in The Great Escape, riding his 650cc Triumph TR6 Trophy motorcycle. According to the commentary track on The Great Escape DVD, it was difficult to find riders as skilled as McQueen. At one point, due to clever editing, McQueen is seen in a German uniform chasing himself on another bike.


"Switzerland??"
"Switzerland ???" 
This was THE one defining scene that turned me on to motorcycles all those years ago. 
McQueen arrives at the Swiss border, looks at the sign surprised, and goes "Switzerland ???"
I knew then that I wanted to experience the same feeling...



McQueen considered becoming a professional race car driver. In the 1970 12 Hours of Sebring race, Peter Revson and McQueen (driving with a cast on his left foot from a motorcycle accident two weeks before) won with a Porsche 908/02 in the 3 litre class and missed winning overall by a scant 23 seconds to Mario Andretti/Ignazio Giunti/Nino Vaccarella in a 5 litre Ferrari 512S.

The same Porsche 908 was entered by his production company Solar Productions as a camera car for Le Mans in the 1970 24 Hours of Le Mans later that year. McQueen wanted to drive a Porsche 917 with Jackie Stewart in that race, but his film backers threatened to pull their support if he did. Faced with the choice of driving for 24 hours in the race or driving the entire summer making the film, McQueen opted to do the latter.

However, the film was a box office flop that almost ruined McQueen’s career. In addition, McQueen admitted that he almost died while filming the movie. Nonetheless, Le Mans is considered by some to be the most historically realistic representation in the history of the race.


“Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting”
“Racing is life. Anything before or after is just waiting”
- Steve McQueen just waiting in 'LE MANS'.


McQueen also competed in off-road motorcycle racing. His first off-road motorcycle was a Triumph 500cc that he purchased from friend and stunt man Ekins. McQueen raced in many top off-road races on the West Coast, including the Baja 1000, the Mint 400 and the Elsinore Grand Prix.

In 1964, with Ekins on their Triumph TR6 Trophys, he represented the United States in the International Six Days Trial, a form of off-road motorcycling Olympics. He was inducted in the Off-road Motorsports Hall of Fame in 1978. In 1971, Solar Productions funded the now-classic motorcycle documentary On Any Sunday, in which McQueen is featured along with racing legends Mert Lawwill and Malcolm Smith. Also in 1971, McQueen was on the cover of Sports Illustrated magazine riding a Husqvarna dirt bike.

Steve McQueen and his 1940 Indian Chief, his personal 'Holllywood Bike'.
Steve McQueen and his 1940 Indian Chief, his personal 'Holllywood Bike'.

McQueen collected classic motorcycles. By the time of his death, his collection included over 100 and was valued in the millions of dollars. He owned several exotic sports cars, including:

* Jaguar D-Type XKSS
* Porsche 917, Porsche 908 and Ferrari 512 race cars from the Le Mans film.
* 1963 Ferrari 250 Lusso Berlinetta
* Porsche 356 Speedster

McQueen’s height is disputed. He was officially listed as 5′10″, but some people, including film critic Barry Norman, have said McQueen’s height was in fact only 5′7″. He had a daily two-hour exercise regimen, involving weightlifting and at one point running five miles, seven days a week.

However, he was also known for his prolific drug use (William Claxton claimed he smoked marijuana almost every day; others said he used a tremendous amount of cocaine in the early 1970s). In addition, like many actors of his era, he was a heavy cigarette smoker. He sometimes drank to excess, and was arrested for driving while intoxicated in Anchorage, Alaska in 1972. Don’t try this at home!

SOURCES:  stevemcqueen.com | wikipedia | imdb.com
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